OF HUMAN BEINGS AND THE SUN
The bed creeks, as if in protest of my slight weight. I can’t blame it for the noise it makes, it was never made of much quality, and it’s a double Decker that is not accustomed to having a body twisting and turning, and writhing in pain on its rusted metallic joints all ad infinitum. I don’t know whether its dawn or dusk, the days blend into the dark with no apparent concern of my troubles, and the earth goes round just as it used to when I was fit and strong. The people too, my friends, they laugh and smile, and get angry then hug to make up, as if I was never really part of them. It`s just me, me and the bed all alone, and the walls that have listened to my pain for the whole week.
Let me introduce myself, I know like the rest you probably wouldn’t identify with me, or my story either. I am this bubbly personality with short hair, and I am a girl, yes, and a beautiful one at that. My mum called me Ndini at birth, perhaps I was small of size, as I still am. Perhaps you are waiting on me to start a story of betrayal by men, or how `all men are dogs` ostensibly, but have a seat, will you? This is not one of those obviously captivatingly obnoxious rhetoric that go on and on ad nauseum about how men should treat girls, it’s a small story. A story of hope, betrayal, prayers, hope and again and finding light in the dark.
It is dark, the moon was probably shining out on the nearby Ngara roads, but no one was interested in its cadence or beauty. When you are young and wild, the soothing jazz of the moonlight does not lull you to sleep, even watching it seems to be an apparent waste of energy, unless you want to be an astronomist, which is not a dream any realistic Kenyan will have. The sound of the outside is shushed by the cacophony of activities within the walls of the hostel room, girls, making stories, analyzing friends, debunking myths, the studious ones trying to ask what class we have tomorrow, and the less studious one, who apparently just happen to exist in school asking whether a unit as the one mentioned in some obscure answer by an obscure person actually exists within the realms of law school. It is a market, this room, there is also something going on, even in the thick of night.
Seated, on the same bed, dreaming of Miranda and my boyfriend, planning life, and adding to the juice of the conversation every once a while. I am not the life of the conversation, but I am close to it. My best friend, Trish, she is practically it in every aspect. The story revolves, from one topic to another, beefs to love, hates to like, Facebook to Instagram, and finally settles on memes and videos, as happens every other night when the small band of people around me sit for a chat. But am not here, am not with them, am out there, playing with the flutes of the world, dreaming, planning and hoping.
It came, in spurts, like waves on the beach. My throat, aching, biting. The pain felt like an arrow a time, a bliss of peace the next moment, then an avalanche of arrows piercing my body again.
I think I remember how it started, as does everyone who goes through sickness. A dryness in the throat. A small feeling like I had been eating sawdust when I slept. Then somehow it morphed into pain, tingling at first, almost enjoyable. Then the tonsils came, I couldn’t breathe in peace, not without heaving and finding a way to avoid air flowing over them. I couldn’t eat either, every morsel of food down my throat was like whip to my back. But am African, and to African tonsillitis or whatever it’s called is not much of a disease. Salt and warm water will do as medicine, and a little lemon somewhere perhaps. But who buys lemons at the market anyway, when their prices can afford you a movie? Or Miranda? Or seven up? So I gurgled a little, through the sting of the pain when water torched my galls, held a little harder to my rosary, said goodnight to everyone, and slipped between the sheets.
I am startled, is it day or night? I can’t remember ever being awake. My whole body is awake, with pain. My brain is numbed, it somehow can’t register where I am. My eyelids feel heavy, weighted. My lips, too, somehow they feel puffy, as if in my dreams I had a fight with demons. The hands can’t move either, as if in conspiracy with the world to deprive me of piece. There is silence everywhere, even the creeks of bed and the patter of someone moving around on the corridor is not existent today. Or is it just that I can’t hear anything. My sheets are wet. I hold on a little, before its dark again, everything turns to black, a blinding light of pain, then darkness before I can register what is happening.
They ran, my friends, each frantically trying to calm themselves of the panic. I was sick, and too weak. While the rest of the world went round mine came to a still. An uber to dash me to hospital, its Sunday, the nurse at the school health center has taken her leave to commune with God, the same God that somehow has abandoned me. A doctor, taking tests, thinking in solemn reverence for a minute or two.
My tonsils, my tonsils have turned chronic…
And when I was in bed, trying as hard to turn they came and went, hardly checking on me but acting as if they did. The bed creeks, for a day, while I spend time in and out of hope and life. It’s not the hospital, where the nursed would probably be around me, poking around with their stethoscopes. It’s not so, it’s my bed, my school bed.
I have had no food, but my body can’t even take a bite before giving it out. Despair fills the room, but not her. My sickness is not life, and she has to go on with life. Perhaps I hurt, but what hurts more is her apparent lack of care. She was the life I looked at, the backbone I hoped to have, but it’s not there, she is not there, this friend. So I turn, on the bed again, listening to the music of its creaking sound, hoping that somehow the pain would ebb. But is still comes, like waves, plunging me into the core of its unlikely bliss, then departing, leaving me, me and the bed.
And when the sun shines, it’s not from the east, whence I had waited upon it. It doesn’t come with a glare and a beat of drums as I used to dream when I was a kid. It’s from her who I despised, the one I dared not look at. And I feel ashamed, as she changes the sheets on my bed for her clean soft ones, ashamed and gratified at the same time.
There still are humans on earth, but they are never where your eyes look………………….